Pregnancy discrimination and the COVID-19 baby boom.

January 26th, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA, January 26, 2021 / — According to the New York Post, the COVID-19 Baby Boom has started. A feature published on December 26, 2020, expecting and new parents shared their experiences and the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy during this pandemic. As with any new or soon-to-be parent, the primary concern is the baby’s health; the fear of losing one’s job because of it should not be an added worry. That said, unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination is alive and well; thankfully, there are legal protections.

Pregnancy can be one of the most wonderfully exciting experiences to navigate in life. During this time, expectant parents are preoccupied with planning for the baby’s arrival and future: from fun things like picking out nursery decorations and the cutest baby clothes to the mundane task of going over finances and remembering to take vitamins, not to mention all the doctors’ appointments, baby showers, and baby bump photos. What should not be on a pregnant mother’s mind is whether her job is safe while pregnant or if she takes any pregnancy or post-pregnancy leave. If telling a boss about the pregnancy or requesting any accommodations causes an expectant mother to lose her job, she should speak to an attorney.

It is against the law to fire an employee because of pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition. Unfortunately, this does not stop some employers from firing pregnant employees, or otherwise mistreating them, often under the guise of another reason. If an expectant mother has been terminated, demoted, or harassed because of pregnancy, it is vital to consult an attorney right away to determine her rights and any recourse against her employer for taking these unlawful actions against her.

Pregnancy discrimination can occur in a few different ways:
Being subjected:
-To verbal harassment such as lewd or rude comments;
-Poor treatment because of pregnancy or pregnancy-related medical condition;
-Terminated because of pregnancy or a request for pregnancy-related leave or accommodations;
-Employer refuses to reinstate after pregnancy leave.
Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), these scenarios can form the basis of liability against an employer as either sexual or disability harassment or discrimination.

Sexual harassment/discrimination occurs when an employer’s actions relate specifically to pregnancy, and disability harassment/discrimination occurs when the employer’s actions are taken against a pregnancy-related medical condition.

Other laws, including the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDLL) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (, protect an employee’s right to take leave for conditions such as morning sickness, pregnancy-related medical conditions, giving birth, and post-pregnancy leave, among other items. These laws have some intricacies based on the number of employees, how long the expectant mother has worked for the employer, etc., that require review by an attorney who can clarify what she qualifies for and ensure she is granted proper leave or accommodations.

“No one should be afraid of losing their job while pregnant,” shares leading trial attorney Daniel K. Kramer, Founding partner of Kramer Trial Lawyers A.P.C. “If you find yourself in this situation, you may be entitled to recover damages, including lost earnings and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages if your employer acted with malice, oppression, or fraud in subjecting you to harassment or terminating you. An attorney can walk you through your options and serve as your advocate against your former employer.”